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Optics: when are images virtual and when are they real?

  • Thread starter Joe626
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  • #1
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sorry, no specific homework question, although it is related to my homework in general. I dont understand what makes an image real or virtual.

thanks for the help :)

joe
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
ehild
Homework Helper
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See this video for a virtual image:

http://www.khanacademy.org/video/virtual-image?playlist=Physics

The real images really exist. The virtual image exist in the brain of the observer.

More seriously: In case of real image, the rays emerging from a point of an object become convergent after passing the imaging system (mirror or lens) and intersect in the same point: at the image of the object.
In case of virtual image the rays emerging from a point of the object are divergent after leaving the lens or mirror. The divergent rays arrive to the eye and the brain interprets them as coming from a common point - from the image. But this common point does not exist in reality.

ehild
 

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